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Employee involvement, technology and evolution in job skills: A task-based analysis

The author investigates the evolution of job skill distribution using task data derived from the U.K. Skills Surveys of 1997, 2001, and 2006, and the 1992 Employment Survey in Britain. He determines the extent to which employee involvement in the workplace and computer technologies promote the use of higher order cognitive and interactive skills. He finds that literacy, other communication tasks, and self-planning skills have grown especially fast. Numerical and problem-solving skills have also become more important, but repetitive physical skills have largely remained unchanged. He finds that employee involvement and computer technologies privilege the use of greater generic skills but substitute for repetitive physical tasks. However, the classification of all tasks as either routine or non-routine is found to be problematic. Finally, the author finds a strong connection between the rising use of more academic skills and the education level required for entry into the labor market.